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Safety Harbor 10K

Safety Harbor 10K start

Brian Kondas ran his first 10K race in Safety Harbor, FL, on Saturday, January 20, 2024. Last weekend, he won first in the master’s age group at the Long Haul 12.5-mile trail race. In comparison, this road race had many more (over a thousand) runners and the competition was much faster. Brian’s race goal was to run a sub-8:00 pace for 6.2 miles and finish strong.

Running the Safety Harbor 10K

At 7:05 AM, the temperature is cold, 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is a light breeze of 7 mph. However, when factoring in an additional 7.5 mph race pace, headwinds can be over 14+ mph. Thus, the wind chill feels like 38 degrees F.

To keep warm, I wear layers of clothing, including a compression t-shirt, a long-sleeve shirt, a windbreaker, a knit cap, and insulated gloves.

With my GoPro camera strapped to my chest, I record a video of my Safety Harbor 10K race. I also use a PacePro Pacing Strategy of 7:58 / mile on my Garmin Forerunner 255 watch. To assist with my breathing, I wear a Breathe-Right nasal strip.

Cold Weather Running Tip

When starting fast, especially on cold days and short races, warm up before the start. I run an easy ten-minute jog, then some leg swings, lateral lunges, and a deep squat hold.

The Race Start

In the starting corral, I position myself in the second row. For the first 14 seconds, I’m running a 7:08 pace. Then, I quickly slow down to my target pace of 7:58.

Most runners start too fast, running at a pace they can not maintain. Watch the video to see me finish strong and pass several runners in the last two miles.

Race Paces and Heart Rates

Below is a table with Brian’s average race paces (min/mile) and heart rates (bpm) for the Safety Harbor 10K.

Mile #PaceHeart Rate

Why is Mile 5 the Slowest?

During Mile 5, runners make a right turn off Bayshore into the wooded Ream Wilson trail. Then, there’s a hairpin turn where runners are forced to slow down to make the 180-degree turn. This u-turn caused me to decelerate to an 8:30 pace for several seconds. As a result, the pace for mile 5 slowed to an average of 8:04.

Running Mile 6

In mile 6, I run into a headwind. Approaching a woman with long blonde hair, I spent a short time drafting behind her. Then, decide she is running too slow, and I pass her.

I increase my pace in this last mile, passing several more runners.

A Strong Finish

Safety Harbor 10K finish Brian Kondas

Passing mile 6, the last man I passed makes a return. He runs up and holds a pace just in front of me. Then, I surge ahead, passing him for the last time. Approaching the final turn, my speed is 8 MPH. Down the final straight, I accelerate for twelve seconds, increasing my speed to 9.5 MPH.

In the final thirteen seconds, I sprint fast and finished the Safety Harbor 10K at a top speed of 10.4 MPH. This is how I finish strong!

Safety Harbor 10K Race Results

Brian Kondas finished his first 10K with the following Best Damn Race results:

  • Time 49:00
  • Pace 7:53
  • Overall, 105 out of 1052

I rang the PR bell after achieving a 10K personal record. Based on my overall results, I ran faster than 90% of all runners.

Safety Harbor 10K PR bell Brian Kondas

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